On Nov. 2, LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LHCG) and LifePoint Health® (NASDAQ: LPNT) announced plans to form a joint venture to strengthen home health and hospice services across the country.The organizations have signed a definitive agreement to share ownership and governance of a new joint venture that will operate LifePoint's home health agencies and hospices, as well as select LHC Group agencies located near LifePoint hospitals. Combining the collective expertise of both organizations through this joint venture will enable the development and expansion of services for both companies.
"We are eager to finalize our partnership with LHC Group and work together to enhance our existing home health and hospice services. This partnership further demonstrates our commitment to making communities healthier beyond the walls of our hospitals and across the continuum of care," said William F. Carpenter III, chairman and CEO of LifePoint Health. "Post-acute services are an increasingly important part of our business and our communities' healthcare needs. By leveraging LHC Group's expertise, we will gain access to the resources and the infrastructure needed to enhance our existing home health and hospice services, invest more in care coordination across our network, and expand access to these services in all our communities."
"LHC Group and LifePoint Health share a deep commitment to compassionate, patient-centered care," said Keith G. Myers, chairman and CEO of LHC Group. "This partnership brings together two culturally aligned companies that are driven by a vision of expanding home health and hospice care, ensuring that patients and families in need of these services have access to them, and improving the health of communities."
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, the joint venture will shift day-to-day operations management of LifePoint's home health agencies and hospices, as well as all future home health and hospice acquisitions, to LHC Group. LifePoint's home health agencies and hospices will continue to operate under their existing names. A newly-created joint venture governing board with equal representation of both companies will direct key governance decisions.
LHC Group maintains 133 hospital and health system partnered home health and hospice locations, and more than 300 post-acute care locations across 25 states. LifePoint currently operates 20 home health and 10 hospice locations within its network of more than 70 hospitals in 22 states. The joint venture is anticipated to commence operations at the end of 2016, subject to certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.